Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber will announce his team on Friday as opposed to earlier in the week – a decision that has attracted a media interest at the global spectacle.

“We’ve been mixing and matching for the last year to make sure we have players on par with one another in each position, so we’ll keep our options open for a seven-one, six-two and five-three split,” said Erasmus.

“The coaches will sit Wednesday morning and confirm things, and then the players will slot in. The way the French team looks could also influence what selection we decide on.

“The one thing for certain is that we have the right bunch of players here.”

Erasmus was proud of the team’s disciplinary record in the tournament so far, and he hoped they could continue on that path as they attempt to book a spot in the semi-final.

“We’ve had no cards in the competition so far and we are in fourth place on the penalty count list, so we are pleased with where we are in that regard,” said Erasmus.

Jesse Kriel.

Jesse Kriel.

The former Springbok, as well as centre Jesse Kriel and flyhalf Manie Libbok - both of whom will be in contention for places in the 23-man squad - said the experience of playing against France in Marseille 11 months ago had prepared them well for the challenge ahead this weekend.

“It was a fantastic experience even though we got a red card and lost the match,” said Erasmus.

“In the changeroom after the match, it was probably one of the proudest moments for me with how players made plans and actually enjoyed with all respect towards the French guys. It was an unbelievable experience.

“To get a red card and be in the game in the last three or four minutes was something I hope will help us on Sunday because many of the players here were involved in that match. In my whole rugby and coaching career it was probably one of the most intense and delightful situations to be in and I am pretty sure Sunday is going to be the same.”

Kriel echoed these sentiments: “Personally I’m excited about the fact that I may have a chance to play against France in front of a packed stadium. It’s something the whole team is embracing, and I think it will be an exciting spectacle. We fought hard in the last game against France and as a team we can take comfort from that.”

Libbok added: “It’s going to be tough. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to play against them last year in front of their home crowd, and that was good for us.

Manie Libbok.

Manie Libbok.

“That said the focus for us is on how we want to play the game and that will be our mindset going into the match.”

Both players were ready for any eventuality if they were in the match day squad.

“I don’t think the Bok No 13 jersey is ever yours,” said Kriel. “It’s good to have Lukhanyo (Am), who has put himself back up for selection in the squad, and Canan (Moodie) is also doing well there.

"Lukhanyo is a world class player and both Canan and I have been learning from him. I was injured in the last World Cup, so it’s great to be here.”

Libbok felt the same about the No 10 jersey and said: “It’s nice to have Handre (Pollard) back. We help each other where we can. It doesn’t matter who starts. I know he’ll do a great job. He’s a world class player and he’s done it before.”

When quizzed about the possible return of French captain and scrumhalf Antoine Dupont, Erasmus had no doubt he would play on Sunday: “A lack of fitness will not be a problem for him. He always looks in control, and France and the world have respect for him. He’s not afraid to tackle also. I have no doubt he’ll play, and it will be a big challenge to contain him.”